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Gallatin Prepares For Massive Eclipse Day Crowds

Posted at 5:58 PM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-07 19:55:02-04

Gallatin has planned an eclipse even at Triple Creek Park where it was predicted to be one the best places in the state to watch the upcoming total solar eclipse.

The city lies directly in the path of totality, promising viewers just more than two minutes and 40 seconds of darkness in the middle of the day.

Barry Young with the Sumner County Convention and Visitors Bureau said that means incredibly high expectations for a staff that's used to dealing with much smaller crowds.

"We're trying to put on a Nashville size event here in Gallatin," Young said. "We don't have time to do anything but prepare."

Young said it's tough to tell how many people will travel to Gallatin on August 21, but they've prepared for all situations. He said the number one question he hears from potential visitors is about parking.

"There are about 1,000 spaces at Triple Creek," Young said. "Some of that will be blocked off for stagecoach parking, media, and extra handicapped spots."

He said several sites within walking distance to the park have already designated for overflow parking.

"Since schools are closed we'll have Shafer Middle School, Benny Bills Elementary School, the Gallatin Civic Center parking lot, and the Municipal Park parking lot," he said. "And we've just been blessed by a gentleman who's going to let us use a large tract of land right next to the park here, about 25 acres. We think that'll park about 1,000 cars in itself."

Additionally, several churches and the hospital near Hartsville Pike offered up even more parking.

"We’re going to run five shuttle busses up and down Hartsville Pike," Young said. "We have figured out a way to get them here through the Greenway system so we won’t have to put them on 31 E, which is the highway we think will be busiest."

Young said despite more than two years of planning, his best advice for eclipse viewers is pretty straight forward.

"Get here as early as you can and please be patient," he said.

Check out our Eclipse section for a list of viewing parties throughout the area.